Bhujangasana, or the cobra pose, in yoga is classical and is referred to in the ancient texts as asana, which Mahatma Gandhi himself admired. The fourth most important pose has not only positive features, but also negative ones. The article will tell in detail about the benefits and harms of the cobra pose in yoga, as well as introduce you to asanas that should be performed after it.
Bhujangasana has a really strong healing effect on the human body, in particular the kidneys. The cobra pose in yoga activates the work of the endocrine glands, strengthens the abdominal muscles, increases lung capacity, stimulates the activity of the parathyroid and thyroid glands, and also activates the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, this exercise energizes the body, develops internal strength, ingenuity and a sense of self-confidence. The cobra pose in yoga is especially useful for people suffering from scoliosis, kidney stones, all kinds of diseases of the kidneys, as well as the adrenal glands.
Asana restores the position of the spinal disc if it falls out, and also eliminates back pain. The cobra pose in yoga is ideal for straightening the spine. A squeezed and not quite flexible spine blocks the passage of nerve impulses from the brain to the body, and when the back arches, a person feels blood supply and stimulation of nerve endings, which has a rather positive effect on the body. In yoga, the spine is given great attention, because it is precisely on it that everything rests.
The cobra pose in yoga is useful for women in that it significantly improves the condition of the uterus and ovaries, eliminates menstrual disorders and other gynecological problems.
Bhujangasana stimulates appetite, has beneficial effects on the digestive organs and eliminates constipation. During its implementation, the liver and kidneys undergo a good massage, which helps to improve their work.
If you look at the asana from the point of view of the pranic body, then its performance has a rather strong beneficial effect on absolutely all organs that have some kind of connection with the energy centers of the body (Anahata, Svadhisthana, Vishuddhi Chakra, as well as Manipur).
Cobra pose in yoga: contraindications
Despite many positive features, asana can be harmful to human health. The cobra pose in yoga has the following contraindications:
- peptic ulcer;
- intestinal tuberculosis.
In the presence of at least one disease, asana can be performed only under the guidance of a doctor. In addition to these points, it is also worth noting contraindications in which the cobra pose in yoga for the spine is strictly prohibited:
- infringement of disks;
- acute stage of radiculitis;
- displacement of the vertebrae;
- acute conditions of abdominal organs.
Asana is performed quite simply, because for it you do not need to have a chic stretching or have strong muscles. After looking at the photo of the cobra pose in yoga, which are provided in the article, almost everyone will be able to perform it the first time. But nevertheless, in order to protect themselves from injuries, beginners should do it according to the instructions:
- Lying on the floor face down, you should stretch your legs, while pressing your feet to each other and straining your knees. Hands should be located on both sides of the chest with the fingers forward.
- After exhaling and resting your palms on the floor, you need to smoothly raise the body until the pubis touches the floor. In this case, it is necessary to evenly distribute the body weight, so that it falls on both the legs and the palm of the hand.
- Having reduced the buttocks, and pressing the legs to each other, you need to stretch your chest forward and up at the same time, moving your shoulders back and down. In this position, it is recommended to stay for 20-30 seconds, after which bend your elbows and just as smoothly lower to the starting position. Asana should be repeated about 2-3 times.
It is important to remember that when lifting the trunk, the pubic bone should remain on the floor all the time, and the navel should be raised by about 3 centimeters. If you raise the navel higher, then the knees will not bend back. When you bend your back, you don’t need to keep your arms fully extended, because it depends on the flexibility of the back.
Bhujangasana posture has two options for the final position:
- Having bent your back, you can stay in the final position exactly as much as it allows you to make a sense of comfort.
- For more active, you can use the dynamic option: after reaching the final position, you need to hold your breath for a few seconds, then lower it to the floor and repeat the asana several times.
Being in the final position, you should pay attention to the shoulders - they should not be raised. Asana will be correctly performed only if the shoulders are lowered and turned back, and the chest is raised and straightened.
Way out of pose
After exhaling, you need to slowly lower your head in a forward-downward line, while bending your arms, lowering your navel, then your chest, shoulders and forehead to the floor. Next, you need to relax the muscles of the back, in particular, the lower back. This is considered a single cycle, and, as mentioned above, there can be several cycles, if you choose a dynamic version of the asana.
The cobra pose in yoga will be correctly performed only if the following rules are observed:
- palms must be fully pressed to the floor and position them not narrower than shoulder width;
- shoulders should always be laid back and down;
- the chest must be expanded and expanded as much as possible;
- the neck needs to be stretched and lengthened in the process of performing the cobra pose;
- legs are strictly forbidden to relax and spread;
- knees should be tensed during the raising of the body and in the final position;
- Having reached the highest point, the buttocks need to be squeezed and not relaxed until the body is lowered.
The subtleties of execution
At the initial stage of the asana, it is necessary to raise the body solely due to the muscles of the back, without helping hands, which will save the vertebrae of the lower back from unnecessary compression and launch the thoracic section.
Throwing your head back, you activate the thyroid gland. You should not relax the neck, thereby pinching it. Experts recommend performing part of the asana with the head thrown back, then lower the chin and pull the crown up, while increasing pressure on the lower abdomen. This contributes to the activation of the kidneys, as well as the adrenal glands.
There are several ways of working with attention in Bhujangasan:
- to collect all attention on the thyroid gland, with an inhalation moving it to the coccyx along the line of the spine, and exhaling to return back along the same trajectory;
- concentrate in the area between the eyebrows and at the same time observe the state of your own body.
Particular attention must be paid to breathing. Raising the body is required only by inhalation. Having reached the final position, you should breathe normally, or hold your breath (with dynamic performance). When the body descends smoothly, you need to exhale.
At one time, experts are allowed to perform about five cycles, while it is recommended to gradually increase the time spent in the final pose. In this case, this is not at all a dynamic embodiment, because here in the final position it is allowed to breathe calmly.
Performing Bhujangasana, people often make mistakes, because of which it not only does not bring sufficient benefit, but also can contribute to injury. The most common errors are:
- not fully open chest;
- It does not go out to make a correct and uniform deflection;
- the lower back is too overloaded and compressed.
People who have been practicing yoga for a long time, often get bored with the classic cobra pose, so they are looking for options for modifying it. Complicating an asana is as follows:
- First, the usual Bhujangasana is done, the feet are crossed, and after a while the crosshair changes and the pose is repeated again. If a person suffers from scoliosis, that the sensations during crossing legs will be different, so you should find the position in which the asana is more difficult, and stay in it a little longer.
- Having completed the classic cobra pose, you need to inspect the body to the right, directing your eyes to the left heel and holding your breath. On exhalation, you should return to the starting position, and then take a breath and repeat the same in the opposite direction.
- Having made the final version of the asana, you need to give the chest a little forward, while raising it even higher, while increasing the deflection and taking the head as far back as possible. Performing this option of the cobra pose, it is necessary to evenly distribute the stress throughout the body (starting from the feet joined together to the crown of the head).
Poses before and after the cobra
As stated at the beginning of the article, Bhujangasana is a basic posture, and therefore, it can be performed every day. If besides her there is a desire to experience other asanas on herself, then the cobra pose should be done before or after the poses with an inclination forward. For example, Bhujangasana can be performed after Pashchimottanasana, which will help her to show maximum benefit.